Chopard was founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in a workshop in Sonvilier, Switzerland, where the then 24-year-old watchmaker initially focused on developing precision pocket watches and chronometers. The company expanded and moved to Geneva in 1937 after Louis-Ulysse made a tour of eastern Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia, garnering new clientele -- including Tsar Nicolas II of Russia and his court.
After the 1963 acquisition by Karl Scheufele II -- who helped modernize the company and added a jewelry division to the enterprise -- Chopard began making headlines: the introduction of the Happy Diamond family, in 1976; in 1988, the company paired with Mille Miglia and began producing watches to commemorate the Italian racing tradition; and in 1996 the company began producing mechanical L.U.C. movements, their name a memorial to the company's founder. This was the same year the company's calibre 1.96 movement was introduced, a piece of horological technology that is considered one of the finest Swiss automatic movements currently produced. One year later, the movement made its debut inside L.U.C. 1860, which was voted "Watch of the Year" by Montres Passion. Throughout their lines of watches, from the Classic family to Happy Diamonds to their Imperiale line, Chopard strives to uphold its core values: independence, quality and excellence, heritage, respect, and audacity.